Roof vents serve one purpose: to circulate air throughout the innards of your roof. In summer, particularly, roof vents are useful because they keep the attic from baking, thus keeping your roof in good condition.
Any residential roofing contractor, however, would warn against covering them in winter. Most people assume that their use only applies during the warm months, but this is a costly misconception. Here are a few reasons why.
Ice Dam Risk
This may sound counter-intuitive because it’s winter, but this heat is the heat you generate inside your home, not the heat generated by the sun. As heat naturally rises, it seeps to your ceiling, attic and finally your roof. Without roof vents or with roof vents blocked, however, it becomes trapped inside your roof, which can heat up your attic to unhealthy levels.
While the attic won’t necessarily be damaged this way, it’s what happens next that’s a cause for concern. A warm roof will melt the snow that’s packed on top of it, which will trickle down the edges of the roof. The trouble is, these edges are much colder than the top of the roof, causing the melted liquid to refreeze. This creates an ice dam, choking the gutters, pulling the shingles downward and creating dangerous stalactites. In some cases, you may need new asphalt shingles installation because of the damage it can do to your roof.
An ice dam also creates other issues. Apart from the structural risks—some ice dams are so heavy they “bend” the gutters downward and pull down the fascia with them—they also trap moisture in the attic. When the inevitable thawing takes place, a blocked gutter system will confine humid air in the attic, which condenses into liquid, which, in turn, causes rot and mold growth. If your attic is primarily wooden, it also weakens the supports, precipitating a collapse.
Dior Construction is the area’s top expert on residential roofing services. Learn what we can do for you by calling us at (201) 472-5462 or filling out our contact form. We serve New Jersey residents, particularly those in Bergen County, NJ.